The disappointment of losing in the Euro 2020 final has only just faded, but Gareth Southgate’s England must dust themselves off and try again.
The Three Lions are back in action this month with three World Cup qualifiers in six days, the first of which is against Hungary in Budapest today, just 53 days after losing to Italy in a heartbreaking penalty shootout at Wembley.
With a few exceptions owing to injuries and absences, the England manager has chosen the majority of the 26-man team he took to the summer event. Despite the fact that the roster appears to be the same, the goalposts have shifted for some of them.
Stones must also be aware of competition from beyond the group. Joe Gomez of Liverpool is nearing full fitness, Arsenal’s Ben White completed a high-profile summer transfer, and Eric Dier is part of a Spurs defense that has yet to yield a goal under Nuno Espirito Santo.
This week, Stones should play a key part, but any errors induced by a lack of match fitness at club level could reignite questions.
Source: Daily Mail